Deputy President William Ruto on Thursday tried to woo Opposition MPs in western Kenya, who pledged to work with the government for development.
Coming at a time when Western leaders have hinted at disengaging from the Raila Odinga-led Nasa, the meeting with 19 MPs drawn from ODM, ANC and Ford-Kenya came as a boost to the DP who is angling for the presidential seat in 2022.
“Even as we do politics, we should respect one another. We should discourage politics of enmity if we are to attain a united nation,” Mr Ruto told the leaders at his Karen office.
“We should know that leaders come and go, but development is there to stay.
"This is why we should make use of our opportunity as elected leaders to engage in activities aimed at uplifting the people’s lives,” he added.
Mr Ruto said the government will work with all leaders irrespective of their political standing.
“We are ready to receive constructive criticism, but you should not also hesitate to commend us for the areas we have done better on development,” he said.
The leaders, a statement from the DP’s office said, discussed the expansion of the Kakamega airstrip, improvement of roads, revival of industries, especially Mumias Sugar Company, initiation and improvement of projects in the health, water, education and administration sectors.
“Mumias Sugar Company will conduct a forensic audit on farmers’ debts and come up with a lasting solution. We will work with all leaders to enhance service delivery,” Mr Ruto said on Twitter after the meeting.
In the meeting, the MPs from Kakamega, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia said they are eager to work with the government on development matters.
“I am ready to work with the government on issues affecting my constituents, especially in the sectors of water, security and health,” Mr Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren, Ford-Kenya) said.
He also asked the government to build a medical training college in Ndalu Sub-County, saying he is ready to allocate Sh15 million from the Constituency Development Fund.
Mr Wafula Wamunyinyi (Kanduyi, Ford-Kenya) said Kenya had an ideal opportunity to build bridges for the sake of development.
Mr Justus Kizito (Shinyalu, ODM) said they have resolved to put behind the issues surrounding the last General Election.
“We thank you for uniting us as leaders so that we can have a common agenda for our people. The time for politicking is over,” Mr Kizito said.
Other MPs who were in the meeting were Mr John Waluke (Sirisia), Mr Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza), Ms Janet Nangabo (Woman Representative, Trans Nzoia), among others.